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Sierra Leone drives capacity building in the public sector with the Digital Foundation Program

February 23rd 2021 –  The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology to everyday life including the way we learn and work which has made it imperative that we adapt to meet the demands of the new age.

As part of its agenda to drive digital transformation and establish Sierra Leone as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub, the Government in its Medium Term National Development Plan has prioritized Human Capital Development with education as its flagship program. To deliver on this, the Government has sought to explore opportunities for human capacity development and to upscale and reskill the current workforce through digital learning platforms.

In support, DSTI on November 4th, 2020 announced its partnership with EDACY to launch a Digital Foundations For Public Service Program, a 5-week online program designed to equip government employees with the skills, knowledge and mindset needed to successfully navigate the “new normal” driven by digital technology and innovation. 

“At EDACY, we believe that access to great development opportunities in today’s digital world comes from the right learning experiences, mixing digital tools, collaborative learning and peer reviews. We launched the Digital Foundations for Public Services Program with the desire to help African governments with high-quality training. We are now delighted to have collaborated with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) of Sierra Leone and supported their employees’ capability development.” Said Temitope Ola – Founder and President, EDACY.

The training and certification of 250 public service participants in digital skill courses does not only boost our international HCD credentials but similarly affirms the government’s commitment to achieving its Millennium Development Goals.

The Initiative has in more ways emerged not only as a success story but as a yardstick for determining the viability of successive initiatives of this nature. Following the launch, 250 public sector employees from over 40 government Ministries, Departments and Agencies successfully registered to undertake the program. 

Sierra Leone drives capacity building in the public sector with the Digital Foundation Program 

February 23rd 2021 –  The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of technology to everyday life including the way we learn and work which has made it imperative that we adapt to meet the demands of the new age.

As part of its agenda to drive digital transformation and establish Sierra Leone as an innovation and entrepreneurship hub, the Government in its Medium Term National Development Plan has prioritized Human Capital Development with education as its flagship program. To deliver on this, the Government has sought to explore opportunities for human capacity development and to upscale and reskill the current workforce through digital learning platforms.

In support, DSTI on November 4th, 2020 announced its partnership with EDACY to launch a Digital Foundations For Public Service Program, a 5-week online program designed to equip government employees with the skills, knowledge and mindset needed to successfully navigate the “new normal” driven by digital technology and innovation. 

“At EDACY, we believe that access to great development opportunities in today’s digital world comes from the right learning experiences, mixing digital tools, collaborative learning and peer reviews. We launched the Digital Foundations for Public Services Program with the desire to help African governments with high-quality training. We are now delighted to have collaborated with the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) of Sierra Leone and supported their employees’ capability development.” Said Temitope Ola – Founder and President, EDACY.

The training and certification of 250 public service participants in digital skill courses does not only boost our international HCD credentials but similarly affirms the government’s commitment to achieving its Millennium Development Goals.

The Initiative has in more ways emerged not only as a success story but as a yardstick for determining the viability of successive initiatives of this nature. Following the launch, 250 public sector employees from over 40 government Ministries, Departments and Agencies successfully registered to undertake the program. 

“ I really enjoyed this program, especially the TIMWOOD theory, which helped me to understand efficient use of time, movement of people’s equipment in performing duties. I also learnt proper management of resources to avoid wastage and gained adequate skills and training to improve employee performance in public service delivery.” Said Rhoda Spencer Cole- Records Assistant,  Office of the Administrator and Registrar General. 

During the virtual Certification Ceremony held earlier today, 75 participants from 26 MDAs were presented with a Certificate for successfully completing over 90% of the program.

  Certificate of Completion Awarded during the ceremony 

The trained and certified participants will contribute to nation building by exploring the new techniques they have gained, offering innovative insight into their organisation’s challenges and identifying new and sustainable solutions to existing problems.

As part of the ongoing drive to support the public sector workforce, DSTI announced a partnership with MIT GOV/LAB to design and develop a Governance Innovation Bootcamp. The  2-week program is designed to give public servants the toolkits needed to design effective and innovative solutions to governance challenges. As a further reward for completing the Digital Foundations Program, 15 out of the available 30 spaces for the Governance Innovation Bootcamp will be reserved for the participants who received a certificate of completion from EDACY.

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Sierra Leone joins Giga towards “Digitization For All”

10 February 2020

The Government of Sierra Leone sees education as central to Human Capital Development and joins Giga to continue accelerating school connectivity and explore innovations to empower communities.

The Government of Sierra Leone, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have signed an agreement to collaborate on Giga, a UNICEF-ITU global initiative to connect every school to the Internet, and every young person to information, opportunity and choice.

Launched in 2019, Giga sets the goal of providing connectivity to every school and its surrounding community in the world. Some 3.7 billion people in the world are unable to access the Internet; a lack of access means children and young people are excluded from the wealth of information available online, limiting their opportunities to learn and grow and to fulfill their potential.

Sierra Leone has made significant progress over the past decade and is now firmly on the path towards long-term sustainable development; however, a combination of factors holds back economic recovery, including inequalities in gender, education, and income and a growing youth population facing youth unemployment. Approximately 70% of youth 15-35 (one-third of total population) are underemployed or unemployed; illiteracy remains a persistent challenge, and youth that lack skills and education find it extremely difficult to compete for the limited jobs available.

The Government recognizes the importance of education toward achieving its goal of Human Capital Development and contributing to not only the global digital economy but also its own national progress. Its Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has set forth a curriculum focused on empowering learners with foundational competencies and ICT skills; its Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) launched its Digitization for All Strategy to transform Sierra Leone into a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.

“’Digitization for all’ in Sierra Leone is not just a concept. It is a developmental road map that defines paths we already tread. While the country’s education flagship program is dripping in innovation and technology, connectivity has been a blockade,” said Ms. Michala Mackay, Director & COO of the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Through Giga’s school connectivity mapping and collaboration with the Government, it was found that while 80% of 11,200 schools in Sierra Leone are within 3G or 4G coverage, only 205 schools are connected. 43.3% of Sierra Leoneans cannot connect to the Internet due to cost and digital literacy constraints, while 40% are not covered at all by existing infrastructure — preventing them from accessing the wealth of educational resources and opportunities toward development.

“Connectivity is critical for our lives, our learning and prosperity; however, 960 million people living in Africa are still offline (ITU Facts and Figures 2020). In Sierra Leone where there are 86 mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, and 84 percent of households are without internet access, connecting all primary and secondary schools to the internet will allow more inclusive access to young learners, enabling them to access the wealth of information available online and opening up future opportunities to them,” highlighted Doreen Bogdan Martin, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau.

“Minister Sengeh and his teams have been global leaders on open source technology for the public good,” said Chris Fabian, Co-Lead, Giga. “Financing and monitoring the connectivity of every school, with Giga, can support Sierra Leone’s leadership in digital public goods by helping get better, affordable connectivity into everybody’s hands.”

Sierra Leone joins Giga to expand school connectivity efforts and explore where innovations, such as digital assets, can play a role in empowering entire communities. Giga has already worked with the Government to identify several activities to support the cost-effective connection of approximately 11,000 schools — equipping a further 3 million in their local communities with the tools and skills they need to empower their nation.

“Developing digital skills and infrastructure are fundamental in reinventing education in Sierra Leone. Connecting 1000 pilot schools would no doubt leapfrog national efforts to bridge the digital divide,” said Ms. Mackay. “We are elated to be offered this opportunity and intend to take the fullest advantage of it.”


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World Economic Forum-2030Vision Framework for Government Action Report

World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Global Public Goods – released its 2030Vision report which covers critical conversations that need to manifest in governments to enable the use of technological advancements to support development towards achieving the Global Goals.

The report cited Sierra Leone’s hard-won gains in using science, technology and innovation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with its National COVID-19 Response Centre (NaCOVERC). The Government of Sierra Leone developed its countrywide COVID‐19 Emergency Response which incorporated an ICT Response Pillar, consisting of public, private and global partners.


The pillar harnesses information technology and data to expand COVID‐19 interventions that inform and guide policy‐makers,  public health experts and citizens on infection prevention and control, when it is necessary to take certain measures such as lockdowns and curfews to mitigate the spread of the virus which is why Sierra Leone records low cases and deaths compared to other countries.

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HCDI Education Innovation Challenge Reflection and Learning Summit Report

A comprehensive introduction to Sierra Leone’s Education Innovation Challenge (EIC) that captures in-depth analysis of the education data including nationwide primary school baseline assessment, interventions by education Service Providers, new education policy, and much more #transforming education in Sierra Leone.

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Sierra Leone’s Chief Innovation Officer to participate in BBC CrowdScience Debate

Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, Sierra Leone’s Chief Innovation Officer, will participate in BBC’s CrowdScience debate on the theme: “Can digital technology transform West Africa?”. The debate will be held at the British Council Tower Hill Auditorium in Freetown on Friday 24 January at 5:00 PM. This is part of national activities planned by the Government of Sierra Leone as part of the International Day of Education 2020.

Joining Dr. David Moinina Sengeh in the debate on how artificial intelligence is changing West Africa is Dr. Chika Yinka- Banjo from the University of Lagos and Ms. Nyalleng Moorosi from Google Artificial Intelligence in Ghana. These experts will explore how robots, drones, and machine learning tackle issues in agriculture, education, health, and governance in the sub-region.

BBC CrowdScience is a radio show that takes questions about life, Earth, and the Universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge. This will be the first of such debates held in Sierra Leone. Entrance for this event is free with registration. 

Crowd science opens up pathways for pursuing unconventional research ideas, blurs the boundaries between institutional science and civil society, provides opportunities for volunteer engagement in science, and enriches science communication. Crowd science also raises questions concerning data-driven approaches to scientific discovery as well as the development of mechanisms for automated quality assurance and feedback.

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Sierra Leone’s leading agencies for data, innovation sign MoU for knowledge ​sharing

The Directorate Of Science, Technology, & Innovation (DSTI) has signed a MoU with Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL) to formalize ongoing collaborations on projects of national significance. The two agencies were lauded by the Minister of Planning, and Economic Development (MOPED), Mrs. Nabeela Tunis for combining their expertise for the advancement of the State.  

Dr. David Sengeh (l) CIO, DSTI, Madame Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Planning & Economic Development (MOPED), Prof. Osman Sankoh, Stats-SL, Mr. Robert Chakanda Dep. Minister, (MOPED)

“DSTI and Stats-SL are already implementing terms within the MoU showing their commitment to providing the Ministry of Planning with necessary data to make policies that will have a measurable impact on the lives of Sierra Leonean citizens,” said Mrs. Tunis.   “It is clear that there are minimal overlaps, meaning that the collaboration is efficient. The Ministry of Planning welcomes and supports this partnership.” The MoU is a commitment by both agencies to share information, and knowledge that will strengthen the problem-solving capacity of statisticians and data scientists at both organizations. “I already know this is a true partnership because even before DSTI showed any results using data we shared, they came to us to present the information. We jointly asked research questions and provided input into the analyses, ” said Prof. Osman Sankoh, Sierra Leone’s Statistician General. ”That’s what true partnership is about!”

Prof. Osman Sankoh, Statistician General (l) and colleagues with Dr. David Sengeh (r), Chief Innovation Officer, Directorate of Science, Technology & Innovation

The two agencies have made inroads on projects ranging from an integrated national GIS solution to map government services and an interactive education dashboard that will allow policymakers to see how different indicators and facilities affect learning outcomes across the country. Mr. Robert Chakanda, Deputy Minister, MOPED, provided guidance and leadership to DSTI, and Stats-SL to ensure that projects are in line with the national agenda. By sharing data, Stats-SL enables the Data for Decision Making pillar of DSTI Sierra Leone. This partnership also further strengthens the innovation ecosystem across government and international development partners. “This is essentially a Memorandum of Action because DSTI and Stats-SL have already been working together on several projects and developed prototypes together,” said Dr. David Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer, DSTI. “I hope that we continue to share not just data, but also the knowledge that will drive Sierra Leone’s development through action.” President Julius Maada Bio commissioned the  Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation in October this year. One mandate of DSTI is to transform Sierra Leone into an innovation nation.
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